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The European Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) 2018 Meeting, PART 2, Galway, Ireland, September 2018.


Collagen is a key component of the extracellular matrix in a variety of tissues and hence is widely used in tissue engineering research, yet collagen has had limited uptake in the field of 3D printing. In this study we successfully adapted an existing electronic printing method, aerosol jet printing (AJP), to print high resolution 3D constructs of recombinant collagen type III (RHCIII). Circular samples with a diameter of 4.5mm and 288 layers thick, or a diameter of 6.5mm and 400 layers thick were printed on glass cover slips with print lines of 60µm. Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier-Transorm Infa-red (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy performed on the 4 of the printed samples and dried non-printed RHCIII samples showed that no denaturation had occurred due to the printing process. Printed samples were crosslinked using EDC [N-(3-Dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride, Sigma Aldrich] to improve their stability and mechanical strength. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) performed showed a marked difference in the denaturation temperature between crosslinked printed samples and fibrillar non-printed samples and nano-indentation showed that the construct was relatively stiff. Previous results with similar samples have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) align with and travel parallel to print direction. Results obtained from these samples show signs that they might be applied in other areas such as bone tissue engineering.